Kenya Vs Sri Lanka
Starting Time: 2:30 pm
Colombo, March 1: Eight years ago, almost to the day, Kenya reinforced its reputation of being a giant-killer when they beat Lanka by 53 runs to storm into trhe semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup. Eight years hence, they are on the brink of elimation in another edition of the tournament, having lost to two vastly superior sides in New Zealand and Pakistan. What's worse, the defeats come from the overwhelming margins of 10 wickets with 42 overs to spare, and 205 runs, respectively.
The time for a dramatic reversal of fortune is here and even though the odds stack up pretty severely against Kenya, they should fall back on their glory days of 2003 and glean some inspiration from them.
The two sides, Kenya and Sri Lanka, are vastly different from the time they last took each other on. Only veterans Steve Tikolo, Peter Ongondo and Thomas Odoyo remain in the Kenyan side since 2003 with a whole slew of new faces refilling old places, while for Sri Lanka, just Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan are still surviving in the team.
In terms of individual performances in this World Cup, there isn't much to guage the potential of the Kenyans by. Opener Seren Waters looks solid initially and gets off to starts, but perishes soon enough. He has only managed to notch up scores of 16 and 17 against New Zealand and Pakistan, while Collins Obuya has been the most consistent player with contributions of 14 and 47. Thomas Odoyo's 3/41 in 7 overs against Pakistan stands out as the lone bright spot in their otherwise dismal bowling.,
Sri Lanka on the other hand appear in far better form. Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga have powered their side to 63 and 76-run opening stands against Canada and Pakistan, repectively, in the tournament so far. Jayawardene has a century under his belt and Sangakarra is the most consistent batter with an average of over 70. Sri Lanka's most successful bowler meanwhile is Thisara Perera, who has ensnared 5 wickets from the two matches at an average of 17.20 while the old war-horse Murali is close behind with 3 wickets at an average of 24.33.
Kenya don't seem to have a prayer against the might of the Lankans. But who knows, the eastern Africans might surprise us yet...